The diversity of knowledge needed in our profession continues to expand. We’re strategic advisors as well as communicators. As such, I’m seeing a greater need for continued learning. When I was in journalism school, I was required to take one marketing class. That’s right, one. Not that regression analysis is part of my day-to-day, but that class gives me more insight now than it did then. Communications is a business. A strong business education is critical to success.
What are your toughest challenges? What would help you do your job better? The Conference Board asked those questions of CMOs and CCOs who said analytics and silo busting two important topics.
More than likely the young hire is arriving at your company with a basic knowledge of communications and much curiosity. I’m generalizing, but I feel new college graduates are adaptable, careful listeners and hungry to learn everything they can about your company.
We conclude our 2-part series about how PR and communications are taught in colleges and universities.
There was plenty of agreement between what our PR and communications pros told us and what the quartet of academics we interviewed said. Writing—specifically, writing for PR vehicles that is clear, concise, creative and persuasive—was among the skills both the pros and academics emphasized. Several of the academics said students lack familiarity with PR writing, which, they said, is different from writing term papers. Our academics said this is an area they stress extensively with students.
PR professionals are tasked with a lot these days. From writing traditional press releases and website copy, to crisis management and social media, the list of responsibilities seems to grow almost daily. It’s hard to know which skills communicators should be prioritizing to stay at the top of their field. For insight on this career-making question, we turned to the PR News community.
A PR professional’s work is never done—especially considering the breakneck speed of digital communications. And on top of press and media relations duties, communicators are now also expected to stay on top of a growing list of social media accounts and metrics. With those hefty expectations in mind, we asked the PR News community for tips on effectively juggling a communicator’s responsibilities.
To get readers in the right frame of mind for the start of the school term this two-part series begins by asking a bevy of veteran in-house and agency communicators to discuss the latest trends in the field and how they are being taught (or not) at colleges and graduate schools. Their responses are included in this week’s edition. In our next edition, we’ll present the academics’ responses to similar questions.
The most important thing to realize about working with agencies is that it’s about much more than merely delegating work. One of the keys to working with an agency is to think about it as building a team outside your organization to help achieve your communication and business goals.
As PR and communications practitioners we often emphasize communications skills, including writing, when hiring junior staffers. Communications competency obviously is critical, but how much thought do we give to other business skills? A new survey for PR News exploring some of these questions suggests skills in addition to communications for young PR pros to hone.
Any discussion of “thought leadership” should start with an acknowledgement that virtually everyone outside the communications field hates the term. Editors and producers see it as a symbol of all that’s wrong with public relations. Yet in spite of the cliché, positioning your executives as, well, leading thinkers remains a critical component of any successful corporate communications effort—especially when your company has passed the “media darling” stage when it’s making all the news.